Most everyone knows a Realtor, but that does not mean they are the right person for the job. Or if you are relocating to a new area, you may not know anyone at all. Maybe you have vast experience in real estate, and you are ready for a change in representation. There are 2,000,000+ real estate agents in the US.
Here are some tips for finding the right realtor for you. First, start by asking friends and family for referrals. Like most everything else, it is an excellent idea to get referrals from someone with first-hand experience. If you do not have any connections, try searching the web. There are plenty of good websites out there, and they can point you in the right direction. Once you have a Realtor in mind, we recommend asking these questions:
How long have you been selling real estate?
This is question number one as you want to qualify your realtor's experience. You want the process to be as smooth as possible, and an experienced agent generally can make the transaction flow easily. Experience does not guarantee success, but real estate sales is a commission driven business. Realtors who do not produce likely will not be in the field for long.
How many clients do you currently have?
More or less, you just want to know if the Realtor will have enough time to manage your transaction. Some realtors can handle multiple clients. Some have teams and large brokerage groups that can manage this easily. Or you may simply want a more intimate experience. After all, it is potentially a huge financial investment. It is absolutely acceptable to ask these questions: Do you have a team that can help? Will you personally manage my transaction? Who else will be involved?
Do you specialize in a target area?
The Memphis metro area is vast. There are great neighborhoods in every direction, and it is highly unlikely you will find an agent who knows them all well. You will find that agents often work within their sphere of influence (e.g. group of friends), and that leads them to work specifically in Germantown, Bartlett, Collierville, East Memphis, Midtown, Downtown, or another specific area.
What is your personal experience in real estate?
This can be specifically insightful. If you are an investor, it can be helpful to have a realtor who invests as well. They will be familiar with investment strategies, target areas, comparable rents, etc. Memphis investors tend to be a well-informed group, and your group may have knowlege of pocket listings or deals coming down the pike. Or, this may be simply be a good question to know where your Realtor chooses to live or has previously lived. Some realtors may have personal experience in moving to areas based on school districts, entertainment preferences, etc.
What type of communication should I expect from you?
Communication is key to every successful relationship. You will want to be informed fully and quickly. We live in a world with lots of communication options, and it is absolutely acceptable to ask for specific types of communication: text, email, phone calls, and even face-to-face.
Do you have a list of recommended vendors?
A well qualified realtor will an established network of lenders, closing attorneys, title companies, contractors, inspectors, and more. These will only be recommendations, as buyers/sellers are always welcome to choose any vendor they want. If you do not have a network, it is helpful to work with vendors the realtors think may keep a transaction smooth. Heritage Homes has been in real estate a long, long time. We can help introduce established vendors is just about any related field.
Will you please provide 3 reference clients?
This is just good sense. "Trust, but verify." I believe those were the words of Ronald Reagan from the Cold War era. It is great to hear a presentation from the horse's mouth, but it is even better to hear it from other satisfied clients. They can verify that you are indeed making the choice... or not.
What questions do you have for me?
You may not even have to ask this question. Your Realtor should be full of questions. Do you have a target price in mind? Do you need to sell quickly, or are you comfortable waiting for the ideal offer? How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Have you done any updates? Are you aware of anything we should disclose to potential buyers? What is unique about your property? Would you like to update anything prior to listing, or do you want to sell it as-is? Would you like my opinion? The questions your potential Realtor asks you should help you determine their motivation and ability to sell your home.
Heritage Homes can provide a variety of options. We have realtor teams, realtors with specific neighborhood experience, relocation specialists, investment specialists, and just about everything in between. We would love for you to interview us as a potential Realtor for your real estate needs.